When we think of co-working spaces, we tend to think of vast open office spaces lined with tables and chairs from wall to wall, and with a fancy pantry.
They’re usually extremely photogenic, but are hardly a place for photographers.
For photographers, those tables and chairs might come in handy for the long hours spent on editing, and the fancy pantry might entertain clients, but for the work that they do, there isn’t really a co-working space that offers the essentials.
The Team Behind Raw.
Renowned local photographers Geoff Ang, Willy Foo, and Bryan Foong seek to change that.
The three of them have come together to create an all new co-working space specifically for photographers, designed by photographers.
And this new place is called Raw.
Nestled among the shophouses of Niven Road, it is located in the heart of the city and is in close proximity to several creative hubs, with the Bras Basah Arts District being nearby, along with arts institutions like the Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts and Lasalle.
As this is a place that is specifically catered to photographers, a lot of thought has been put into the amenities that they provide.
To find out more about this new co-working space, we got in touch with co-founder Bryan Foong as he shares how the space came about and what goes into it.
What Is Raw.?
While it is true that Raw. can be called a co-working space for photographers, Bryan says that more than that, what the founders are trying to create is a community.
The co-working component comes into play to give photographers who are not keen to invest in their own studio. As such, them having the co-working space helps to cover the costs of having seminars and events that are organised for the photography community.
Three words come together when one would think of this place – learn, work, and play.
To truly create a community the space would have to be open to photographers at any level – from hobbyists just starting out, to established professionals.
And that’s what the founders of Raw. have set out to do, and it also helps that all three of them are the ones currently running the space.
Priced For Everyone
This place is positioning itself as somewhere that anyone can learn, work, and play with all things photography, and this is reflected in their membership prices.
As you can see above, each tier of membership has its own set of benefits.
Students and enthusiasts are encouraged to go for at least the ‘Learn‘ membership where you will gain access to discounts to masterclasses, workshops, rentals, and exclusive members-only events.
Professionals and established photographers will most definitely be looking at the ‘Work‘ plan that give them full access to all amenities in Raw.
Do note that not everyone can be a ‘Work‘ member as it is by invitation only, and there will only be a maximum of 10 members for this tier.
A look at the Raw. website at the moment shows several talks that have been lined up which anyone can sign up for – for free.
They include sharing sessions by the founders themselves, as well several guest speakers ranging from other established photographers, as well as familiar brands in photography.
A Very Raw. And Flexible Space
The decision to open it in a shophouse unit is also something that has its reasons.
Raw. is a sanctuary that is without prejudice and judgement, while also retaining a feeling of being at home.
It is a space where photographers of any level can ask questions without being intimidated, while also letting established photographers to freely impart what they know.
Being conveniently located is also a big plus, especially when building a community.
With regards to the space in itself, Bryan shares that it has been deliberately set up to be convertible – everything can be shifted or arranged depending on use as an office, studio or events.
The space is also designed to make photographers as comfortable as possible when at Raw.
It is all about having a very inclusive environment for everyone, and the neutral colour palette lends itself in all of the spaces to create that.
Away from the very open front room and studio, ‘Work‘ members can retreat to more private spaces.
Two creative pods are available for members to have the space for their inner thoughts, while shower facilities are also around for anyone looking to freshen up between shoots.
Only The Best For Raw.
One thing Raw. has is the most outfitted studio by famed lighting equipment brand, Profoto.
Bryan shares that having good professional equipment is paramount as it eliminates the need for trial and error, as well as second guessing.
It is also their belief that with these equipments, it can help photographers translate their ideas into some amazing work.
Profoto also won’t be the only brand you can see at Raw. They also have plans with brands such as Nikon, Adobe, Phase One, and also local photography retail store Alan Photo.
Founders Geoff Ang, Willy Foo, and Bryan Foong also make up the core teaching group for members.
With their individual expertise in areas such as advertising, corporate and wedding photography, they will be able to cover a variety of topics for members.
You can also expect to see more prominent figures in photography to join them as many have volunteered their free time there.
At the end of the day, what the founders potentially see of this place is somewhere where they can nurture the next generation of photographers in Singapore.
“Every dream starts from something small. We believe that possibilities are endless when you pursue your dreams.” – Raw.
48 Niven Road,